The story goes that this was a peasant soup, made up by hard working villagers in Tuscany of the Middle Ages. They would flavour their white bean soup with leftover meat spilling from their landowners full plates.
The ingredients so appeal to me, they’re beautifully flavoursome and nutritious, and I have been a little flexible to adapt the ingredients to suit Oma’s tastes and conditions.
Now, I have a confession 🤪 Oma actually didn’t really enjoy this soup. I suspected she might not as she’s not a huge fan of garlic, you’ll notice I usually omit garlic in my slow cooks for Oma, intentionally. And I should have done the same here, as I feel that’s what turned her off my cooking.
Feeling a little deflated, but not defeated, I swiftly replaced Oma’s soup with her regular hearty, creamy vegetable soup (I had a cauli and broc soup ready in the fridge) and she was happy and nourished once again.
Anyways, I loved the soup and I’d still like to share it with you. I’ve included some modifications in there, and encourage carers to enjoy this one as well. It’s an easy, delicious and nutritious soup that can be made for lunch or dinner. What’s also great about it, is that the ingredients are nearly always in the pantry and the fridge - so it’s always there, always an option.
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion (optional)
• 6 slices of pancetta (optional)
• 1 tbsp crushed garlic or 2 crushed garlic cloves
• 2x 400g can cannelloni beans
• 250g packet of frozen kale or spinach
• GF chicken stock cube or 2 tbsp nutra organics veg/bone broth flakes or similar
• 2 cups of boiled water
• splash of white wine (optional)
• salt and pepper
• handful of shaved parmesan
• handful of flat parsley (optional)
• process 1 can of beans in a food processor until smooth and set aside
• in a large pot on med-high heat, place oil, chopped onion and crushed garlic and stir fry for 3 minutes.
• add chopped pancetta and stir fry for a further 3 minutes (optional)
• add unprocessed can of beans, defrosted kale and splash of wine and coat with other ingredients
• add the water and stock cube and turn the heat to low-med, to a simmer and stir
• add the processed beans mix, salt and pepper and simmer on low with the lid on for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
• serve hot topped with parsley and parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil
• process both cans of beans and the kale together in the food processor to make an even smoother soup (what I did for Oma)
• using an alternative organic veg or bone broth flake instead of a stock cube is hugely nourishing and still very tasty, nutra organics is a popular, trusted and available brand
• pancetta is optional, it's for more flavour and closest to the "left over meat spilling from the landowners plates" story
• add torn sourdough bread during the simmering for a denser soup
• the soup is largely GF and DF so a great low allergen soup
• it's really high in protein with the beans, and nourishing with the greens, garlic and broth as well